Building Music and Writing with Light

     We often shortcut music and photography by exercising our fair use rights to borrow other’s work, but tools are readily available to allow students to create their own. The artistic payback is definitely worth the investment of time.
     M-Audio led a workshop on GarageBand and supplied music keyboards for all the
stations in the lab. Our presenter explained that what once filled a home studio now can fit in a backpack in the form of a laptop computer and a MIDI keyboard. There was something for everyone in this workshop as the keyboard players were able to play their own tunes, choosing various instruments to carry the notes generated by their keyboard. And the not so tickling the ivory inclined were able to combine loops to get some melody, a beat, and a little bass. Not to leave out the PC users, M-Audio offers a product called Session. It is available as a stand alone product or bundled with some of their devices.
     Eli Reed, a professional photographer who has worked for magazines like "Life" and "People," been the production photographer for a number of Hollywood movies, andCimg2583_1
does work for Magnum Photos, showed us dozens of his pictures from the poorest of the poor to Hollywood stars. What came through loud and clear in Eli’s speech and photos was his love and respect for mankind and the indomitable human spirit. Pressed to offer advice on what makes a great photograph, he said that he likes to convey more than just the moment. He attempts to show something of the past and a hint of what the future might be. It seems for him that photography really does focus vision and expand point of view. Inspired by that ethic, one his university students rerouted his drive back to school in Texas last fall to both document hurricane Katrina and lend a hand to those in need.
     Encourage your students to make their own music, take their own photos and use their own artwork.

In the Enthusiasm and Fun Category
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Almost half an hour after the afternoon sessions had ended I wandered down to meet some friends at the room the iMovie workshop was being held in. I thought the closed door meant that I had missed them. But when I peeked in, almost all the stations were still occupied and the student producers were busy finishing and sharing their movies on the San Diego Zoo. Nobody seemed to notice or care that the "bell had rung" a while ago.

Pictures by Johanna Riddle

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